501: Electric Driving

Would you drive an electric / alternative fuel vehicle?


Full episode script

In 2017, Norway hit two big milestones for alternative fuel vehicles. Specifically, over 40 percent of its registered vehicles were hybrid, electric, or hydrogen-powered — and they announced that they would end the sale of gas and diesel vehicles by 2025.

 

Norway was far from the only country to take what some consider a fairly drastic step. Quoting from National Geographic’s September 2017 article:

Governments in the U.K., the Netherlands, and France have promised the same by 2040. Germany, home of Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, is talking about a similar ban.

 

China announced it too will ban the sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles—though it has yet to set a timetable. China is the world’s biggest car market, selling 20 million vehicles a year. It already has more than 40 different electric vehicles available, most made by Chinese companies.

 

This past May India’s Energy Minister Piyush Goyal predicted to National Geographic that only electric vehicles will be sold in India by 2030— even without a government restriction, because they are cleaner, quieter, longer-lasting, and will cost less.

 

Right now, electric vehicles are not necessarily a majority choice — but they are getting a lot of attention and discussion. There’s electric vehicles available at costs similar to gas-powered vehicles with 120 mile ranges, and the big spenders can get a range of over 300 miles.

 

There’s many arguments for why electric vehicles may not be a great optionrange, infrastructure limitations of charging, towing capacity — but even these things are being addressed quickly. So quickly that some estimates claim that the majority of vehicles will be electric or alternative fuel as soon as 13 years from now.

 

I’ll admit — for me, the math works out. I’ve been driving an EV for 4 years now, and it’s cost less to lease a new EV and drive it than it cost me to buy fuel for a fully paid off used Subaru. But – I also drive less than 120 miles on an average day, and rarely need to drive across the country. And when I do, I still rent a gas vehicle.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.